I read this morning that the self-help movement has become an $11 billion industry. There are more than 45,000 self-help books in print!
Each book makes a promise toward a new and improved version of yourself. All you need to do is follow the simple steps provided. Through the years I have bought these fix-it guides. However, despite reading and following many of the words written, I still need help! Aren’t we always trying to improve an area of our life? Seek to becoming better?
Long ago, I also heard less than 20 percent of the people who purchase a self-help book or program actually begin the fix-it guide, even fewer complete the guide! As I look on my bookshelf, I see evidence of that in my life. I actually see two copies of the same book for a topic I’d love to fix! I’ve read two of the nine chapters. What good does that TELL me?
The explanation to why we buy the program or book and never open it is we already feel a sense of improvement by just purchasing the book or program. Similarly, as soon as we get over the hump – or made to feel better by the introduction – we stop. We are in one sense already improved.
Make sense? Common sense? Self-help?
The truth is these books do offer insight on a topic; however, because most people are searching to improve themselves, the real answer lies in the interactions you have with yourself and others. Your self improves when you have helpful interactions! When you intentionally and consistently seek wisdom, someone or something greater than you in the moment.
Wisdom is gained by principle. The resource, program, or strategy you investigate and implement as a means to improve the quality of your life is limited by how seriously and intentionally you interact. That is why these ideas work for some, possibly many. It is because you interact in such a way you receive good insight. The interactions teach and encourage you to think and act in certain ways; when you listen and love the ideas being presented, you interact in such a way that you are nurtured mentally and emotionally to improve.
There is not a set program that will work for everyone because there are fundamental principles for each program or strategy that must be part of the decision-making process and implementation. When people ignore these principles, the programs and strategies are a fix-it guide.
Every program or strategy has a set of principles to describe the context for success. The person implementing the program or strategy should be aware of the principles. They must also agree with the principles, or in the end the program or strategy will be just another fad, or a book on the shelf.
Principles provide the foundation for why and how something works. Principles are much like natural laws, for example gravity. Whether you know of the principle, understand it or even agree with it doesn’t matter – the principle, like a natural law, always applies. Principles are timeless and self-evident, and they apply any time and everywhere.
You TELL whenever you interact is an idea based on principles of communication. Every word you speak, every action you do, TELLs about you. You let others know your thoughts and feelings about the situation and about the relationship between you and others involved. You teach your thoughts, you encourage what should happen next, at some level you listen, and to some degree you love. #TELLforGood